When choosing the right shade of lipstick, the most important consideration should be your own skin tone, not the shade you love. Is your skin tone warm, cool or neutral? Get the hue that’s just right for you.
When you visit your favourite cosmetic store, you’d find hundreds of different lipsticks out there in varying tones and finishes, and finding the best one for yourself can be quite an overwhelming task.
The truth is, many shades will appear to be good for you – the reason why most ladies end up buying umpteen shades of red – but if you are able to rightly identify your own skin tone, it would help in selecting the most appropriate shades for you.
Fashion trends keep changing every season and often make up trends follow suit. However, they say, some things never change and lipstick is one of these. While textures and finishes may differ, using the perfect hues to suit your own skin tone never changes.
One way to find out your skin undertone lies in your own hands. You can check out the veins on the inside of your wrist. “If you have purple or blue-looking veins, you likely have a cool undertone, while warm undertones often have a more greenish tint to them,” says Suzy Gerstein, NYC-based celebrity makeup artist. “Neutral undertones usually have a mixture of both and green veins can often indicate an olive undertone.”
Whether you’re exceptionally pale or have very dark skin, undertones fall into three basic categories – warm, cool, and neutral and each of these has tones within it:
Cool: bluish, red, or pink
Neutral: a mixture of both warm and cool
Warm: golden, peachy, or yellow
When selecting the right shade to suit your undertone, try them out on the inside of your arm, and noticing how the different undertones look against your skin.
For warm tones: If you have warm or yellow undertones or olive skin, look for a shade of lipstick in corresponding warm colours: Orangey-red, brick-red, and terra-cotta will enhance your skin.
For blue or pink tones: The best complement to cool skin tones with blue or pink undertones is a lipstick that also has cool undertones – blueish and purple shades. Try a bright cherry red that veers more blue than orange; berry shades like cranberry; or a deep plum.
For neutral tones: Neutral undertones work with a wide range of shades. If you have a neutral skin tone or aren’t sure what your undertones are, try mauve shades for medium skin, pinky tones for fair skin, and berry shades for darker skin.
Choosing a nude lipstick
If you are not fond of colours, nude shades can serve your purpose of making up without appearing to have done so. However, finding a good nude lipstick can be difficult because the tone and shade can either liven up your natural lip colour or make you look ill.
Nude shades do not necessarily mean those that are similar to your skin colour. It’s not about finding a lipstick shade that matches the actual colour of your lips. The real idea is about emphasising their presence in a tone that looks natural to you.
Find a shade that matches or is one shade darker than your inner lip. Also, tinted balms and glosses add a bit of colour to your lips, working with the lips’ natural shade to enhance them.
Choosing a bright lipstick
Bright colours (pink, orange, and red shades) can be easier to choose than the perfect nude. But with so many options, it’s easier to feel overwhelmed at the makeup counter. If you’re totally new to finding a flattering bright, here are some pointers:
Finish changes the effect of a bright lip. A saturated satin or cream finish looks classic, and a matte lip looks very modern.
Choose a colour based on your preferences. Cooler tones are often brighter, while warmer tones offer a softer look.
If you’re looking for a classic make-up look, red lipstick will always be a part of it because it’s rich, intense and looks good on every skin tone.
For skin with cool pink undertones, bright fire-truck reds look lovely. For warmer yellow undertones, deeper reds like brick to crimson shades really pop against the skin.
Red lips are attention-grabbing in themselves and don’t need an accompaniment of heavy eye makeup. Even just concealed eyes with a few coats of mascara looks fantastic with red lips.
Once you’ve decided to wear red lips, decide on either a juicy, glossy finish or a stark matte one. This is because the rest of your face depends on the finish of your lips.
Precise application is, however, crucial for red lipstick. Ideally, a red lip liner can be helpful as a starting step to first draw the natural lip line and fill it in. A lip brush can give you more control over the colour.